New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is working on the ground in Goa to take on the two established national parties—Congress and BJP—which it considers the main opposition. The party is engaged in door-to-door campaigning and is also conducting a “Parivartan Yatra” on a daily basis consisting three meetings a day that are held across Goa. A senior AAP functionary said: “The Parivartan yatra is kind of a common meeting of 100 to 150 people where we tell them about agenda for Goa and what we intend to do for Goa and its people.”
The realisation in the AAP is that, the coming Goa elections will turn out to be a “wave election” in AAP’s favour. They think that this election is going to be a big win for them at the cost of the Congress and BJP. According to a AAP leader, “We are fighting on all 40 seats, we are confident on 20 to 25 seats where we have a good chance to win.”
In 2017, the Congress got a mandate with 17 MLAs of 40 winning elections, but the MLAs soon started disenfranchising themselves from the party and the Congress reached the lowest tally, holding 3 MLAs. The BJP is strong with its cadre of 21 MLAs; the GFP has allied with Congress after breaking with BJP. The TMC has allied with Goa’s first ruling party after Goa’s independence in 1961, the MGP. AAP will have to ferry between “well-settled” parties and significant alliances to break into power. Rahul Mhambre, AAP convener, told “Congress is always willing to sell MLAs and BJP is always willing to buy MLAs. AAP has complete space here and AAP was the only party in Goa to help people in Covid times. On the election front, we have declared guarantees given by Arvind Kejriwalji, about providing jobs. We have explained door-to-door how these programmes will be funded, if people in Delhi are getting funded, why not people of Goa, our work share has been increasing every week and that of the Congress and BJP declining. We expect that Goa will give one chance to AAP. We are providing Delhi model to Goa, we will provide employment because industry bodies in Goa are on record saying that there is no support from govt. and there is no investment coming into Goa. Corruption will be wiped out. Goa budget is around Rs 20,000 crore and 20% goes to corruption. If there is no corruption, the entire welfare schemes could be funded through that.” Cedric D’cousta, a senior journalist said: “AAP is making the wrong moves. They are not very popular in Goa. And whatever schemes or whatever guarantees they are making is not backed by calculation. They have to show people where from they will generate the income, Goa is a small state.”
A member of the I-PAC told “Earlier, the AAP was the only choice against BJP and Congress, but now that the TMC has come into the picture, things will be different. AAP has been in Goa for long, but they don’t have a strong face, their strategies are not on the right track, they are selling in Goa what they have been selling in Delhi, but that won’t work in Goa.”